Nagpur, April 5
Nag-Vidarbha chamber of Commerce (NVCC) which is a premier organisation representing 13 lakh traders all over Vidarbha has strictly opposed the State government order to close down all shops, barring those dealing in essential comodities. NVCC president Ashwin Mehadia , in a letter sent to the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday said in Nagpur city lockdown is being re-imposed from February this year. Now, the announcement of a statewide lockdown would completely shatter the economy of the state, he further said adding, last year small and medium traders suffered lots of miseries following lockdown. To make matters worse, the government neither announced any package for this class of traders nor provided any relief in tax to them.
On the contrary, it has made tax compliance stricter with heavy penalty for the violators. This apart, all traders have also had to pay phone bill and power bill during lockdown, makig their condition miserable, Mehadia opined. If shops are closed during lockdown, how would traders pay bills and salary to the workers? he asked.
NVCC secretary, Ramavatar Totla said traders are the backbone of economy as they pay hefty taxes to the government.
However, poignantly, all restrictions are imposed on traders only, he pointed out. I f industries are manufacture goods, during lockdown,but wholesale and retail markets are closed down, these goods would continue to be stockpiled resulting into stagnation of the economy, he said.
Similarly, in yet another contradiction, the government has granted persmission for construction activity during lockdown, but shops selling construction material would be shut. Under such conditions, how would construction activity go on? he asked.
Hence, the only remedy available is to withdraw the complete lockdown order and impose stringent
restrictions on common people, both Ashwin Mehadia and Ramavata Totla said.
As traders have always co-operated with the government by doing trade and business by completely following Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, lockdown is not the answer to the surging cases of Covid-19, they said.